Is NexGard Safe for Dogs? Everything You Need to Know Before Using NexGard Chewables for Dogs
Even if your dog doesn’t spend large amounts of time outside, fleas and ticks can easily attach to their skin, resulting in itching, scratching, tapeworms, disease—and in the case of ticks, even paralysis.
One of the most popular flea and tick treatments is NexGard, an oral flea medication for dogs.
Of course, choosing any medication for your dog is not a decision that should be taken lightly. How do you know if NexGard for Dogs is the right choice for your four-legged best friend?
In our review of NexGard for Dogs, we’ll help you make an educated decision, providing a comprehensive look at whether this popular oral flea medication for dogs is safe, effective, and recommended for use.
In the process, we’ll also answer the following questions to help you determine whether NexGard is really the best oral flea medication for dogs:
- What is NexGard for Dogs?
- How long does NexGard take to work?
- Where can I find the best price for NexGard for dogs?
- Are there any NexGard for Dogs side effects?
- What do NexGard for Dogs reviews say about the product?
- Is NexGard safe for my dog?
NexGard for Dogs Reviews
With their expressive personalities and affectionate nature, dogs are one of the most popular pets to have in the home. In fact, according to Statista, an estimated 89.7 million dogs lived in households across the United States in 2017.
No matter what size, breed, or age, you want to make sure that your four-legged family member is happy, healthy, and safe—which means regular vet visits and preventative flea and tick treatment.
NexGard for Dogs Reviews | What is NexGard Oral Flea Medication for Dogs?
NexGard for Dogs was created by Merial, now a part of Boehringer Ingelheim, a global pharmaceutical company focused on improving animal health. Merial also created the Frontline® brand of flea and tick medication, with billions of doses administered since the 1970s.
NexGard chewables for dogs are, in fact, the very first chewable flea and tick pill for dogs, making it easy for dogs to get protected against pests each month.
Afoxolaner is the active ingredient in NexGard for Dogs, an insecticide and acaricide which travels through your dog’s bloodstream and kills pests by over-stimulating their central nervous system.
NexGard chewables for dogs can be taken by dogs and puppies that are at least 8 weeks of age and weigh at least 4 pounds. It has not been determined if NexGard is safe for pregnant, breeding, or lactating dogs.
How Long Does NexGard Take to Work?
According to the product website, NexGard works quickly to kill all fleas and ticks within 24 hours. Many reviews from veterinarians and consumers support this statement, with only a few NexGard reviewers reporting that it took an extra 24 hours for NexGard to work.
NexGard for Dogs Reviews | What is the Best NexGard for Dogs Price?
As with any medical treatment, NexGard for Dogs prices will be a consideration for pet owners to take when choosing the right flea and tick pill.
When purchasing NexGard chewables for dogs, the price will depend largely on the retailer. (Your veterinary office may be able to provide different pricing on oral flea medication for dogs.)
There are four options for small to large dogs, including NexGard for Dogs 4-10 lbs., 10-24 lbs., 24-60 lbs., and 60-121 lbs.
See the chart below for a quick comparison of NexGard for Dogs prices when purchasing a three-month supply of NexGard for Dogs 4-10 lbs., 10-24 lbs., 24- 60lbs., and 60-121 lbs.
|NexGard Flea and Tick Pill for Dogs||1-800-PetMeds||Allivet||PetSmart|
|NexGard for Dogs 4-10 lbs.||$58.64||$59.99||$56.83|
|NexGard for Dogs 10-24 lbs.||$59.49||$61.99||$57.81|
|NexGard for Dogs 24-60 lbs.||$61.19||$62.99||$58.79|
|NexGard for Dogs 60-121 lbs.||$62.04||$63.99||$60.75|
Table: Average NexGard for Dogs Prices
NexGard for Dogs Reviews | NexGard for Dogs Side Effects
While insecticides and acaricides may be effective at killing pests, how do you know if the afoxolaner in NexGard for Dogs is safe to administer directly to your pet? One good way of evaluating whether NexGard is safe for dogs is to consider the possible side effects of this oral flea medication for dogs.
According to the product website, common NexGard for Dogs side effects include:
- Lack of appetite
Many NexGard for Dogs reviews also report dogs experiencing seizures after taking the flea and tick pill for dogs. As stated on the product packaging, NexGard should be used only under the guidance of a veterinarian and “with caution in dogs with a history of seizures.”
NexGard for Dogs Reviews | Reports of NexGard Dog Deaths
When it comes to oral flea medication for dogs, the risk of side effects can be more severe, as the pesticides and acaricides are distributed throughout the bloodstream.
With recent negative press from flea and tick medications like Bravecto®, many pet owners have been wondering whether there have been any reports of NexGard dog deaths.
We scoured through online dog flea pill reviews to see if we could find any instances of NexGard dog deaths and found a few key points for all dog owners to consider before administering the NexGard chewables for dogs.
Adverse Drug Events (ADE) Reports for NexGard
Your Pets Need This is a website run by Pennsylvania veterinarian Elizabeth Carney, who has been a vocal opposition to topical and oral flea medication for dogs, including NexGard.
Upon filing a Freedom of Information Act request, Carney received ADE reports for NexGard spanning 1/28/2017-5/2/2017. Within this time frame, there were 720 reported cases of side effects for dogs, with the most common including:
- Vomiting (Reported 211 times)
- Lethargy (Reported 132 times)
- Severe itching (Reported 77 times)
- Diarrhea (Reported 72 times)
- Seizure (Reported 41 times)
- Anorexia (Reported 40 times)
- Panting (Reported 31 times)
Perhaps more unsettling are the 21 NexGard dog deaths which were reported in this time, including nine deaths by euthanasia. In fact, according to a second ADE report from 10/1/2017-12/31/2017, the total number of reported deaths had increased to 57.
While it should be stated that these reports do not consider previously existing conditions (like a predisposition towards seizures) or additional factors (for example, complications with other drugs used at the same time), dog owners should assume that these numbers only represent reported incidents.
Because many side effects are often not reported, it may be that the actual numbers of negative side effects—and, as a result, NexGard dog deaths—are higher than what is reflected in the ADE report.
Is NexGard Safe for My Dog?
Change.org Petition Against NexGard for Dogs
A petition titled “Nexgard (flea & tick treatment) should be removed from the market WITHOUT DELAY!!!!” has earned nearly 6,000 signatures from concerned dog owners and from those who have suffered the devastating consequences of NexGard dog deaths.
One example of these NexGard dog deaths comes from signer Linda Wilson, who says:
Our precious pug Carmen was given a dose of Nexgard at 9:30 at night and by midnight we had her at the emergency vet. Despite attempts to save her she passed away by 7:30 the next morning. This medication needs [to be] taken off the market.
Another similar story about NexGard dog deaths comes from signer Vivienne Vickery, who says:
Nexgard caused my healthy beautiful Golden Retriever assistance dog to my daughter to have dreadful seizures back leg lameness and DEATH leaving heartache and huge financial burden. Remove this carcinogenic poison from our dogs it is dog slaughter affecting thousands worldwide. SHAME.
Signer Pauline Gill points to a strong correlation between NexGard dog deaths and seizures, saying:
My daughter’s dog suffered seizures following use of Nexguard TWICE, only linking it to the drug on the second occasion. This second dose, heartbreakingly, resulted in her dog’s death. There appears to be a significant body of evidence showing that this was not an isolated case.
The creator of the petition also runs a Facebook group for members to share their stories about flea and tick treatments, including Simparica, Bravecto®, and NexGard. While NexGard may be part of the ongoing discussion, it’s worth mentioning that the largest number of reviews come from Bravecto® and Simparica, rather than NexGard for Dogs reviews.
While some group members do report seizures as a common side effect—with varying degrees of intensity—it is difficult to find reports on NexGard dog deaths from pet owners on social media.
This may be because drugs like Bravecto® and Simparica are simply newer additions to the market, gaining more publicity and criticism from veterinarians, bloggers, and dog owners.
NexGard for Dogs Reviews | What Do Pet Owners Say About NexGard for Dogs?
If you’re on the fence about whether NexGard for Dogs is the best choice for your pet, you may want to consider what other pet owners have said about the product.
As with any product, NexGard for Dogs reviews bring a mix of positive and negative experiences—but what reviewers say about this flea and tick pill for dogs can provide valuable insight into whether the treatment is safe, effective, and best for your favorite canine.
NexGard for Dogs Reviews from 1-800-PetMeds
1-800-PetMeds has over 500 NexGard for Dogs reviews, earning a total rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. With high ratings, the vast majority of these dog flea pill reviews are positive, with pet owners praising NexGard for its ability to quickly and effectively get rid of fleas and ticks.
For example, one recent reviewer says:
We live in a high tick population area. Nexgard makes all the difference- any ticks that DO make it onto my dogs, die quickly. Pricey, but worth it!
Similarly, another reviewer states:
I have used NexGard for all of my dogs for years and none of them have ever had fleas or ticks. This will always be my #1 choice to make sure they stay safe.
Interestingly, negative NexGard for Dogs reviews primarily report that the product simply does not work, rather than cause serious side effects. Many pet parents state continuing to struggle with flea infestations even after administering three months’ worth of the flea and tick pill for dogs.
For example, one reviewer says:
We have our springer spaniel on NexGard. We give this med faithfully every month. Our fur baby became very ill. After x-rays, blood tests, [and] a stay at the hospital, it was determined she had Lyme disease. $900 for all the tests and meds! A disease that this med is supposed to prevent! Will never use again. If I could give it a 0 I would.
Similarly, another of the negative NexGard for Dogs reviews reads:
I bought this product for my dog from my vet and was told that I would need to use it for three months in order to break the lifecycle of the fleas. We used it for three months and my dog still appeared to have fleas. So we were told to use it for another three months to get rid of the fleas again. We did and the fleas were still there…This product may work well on some animals but on my dog, it did not.
Overview of NexGard for Dogs Reviews
While consumer websites are often the best source of critical reviews, many NexGard for Dogs reviews are found in alternative places, like comments on blogs, petitions, and social media forums.
In the case of reported NexGard dog deaths, this may be because these avenues offer a chance for a more personalized interaction, opening a conversation between fellow pet parents rather than an automated reply from a customer service representative.
Still, the juxtaposition between the overwhelming amount of positive NexGard for Dogs reviews on consumer websites and negative comments on blogs, petitions, and social media groups is one that pet parents should certainly take note of.
While many dog owners are having stress-free experiences with NexGard chewables for dogs, there are plenty of others who are having quite the opposite, prompting the question of whether NexGard truly is safe for your dog.
Conclusion: Is NexGard Safe for Your Dog?
No matter what kind of pest preventative is used, there will always be a risk for serious side effects or complications, as topical and oral flea medication for dogs relies on the use of chemicals through various pesticides and acaricides.
Despite the widespread over-the-counter availability of NexGard for Dogs, it’s important for dog owners to partner with their veterinarian to gain a complete picture of their dog’s health history and various risks to better gage whether a certain pesticide or acaricide should be avoided.
Is NexGard safe for your dog? As a consumer, it can be difficult to tell, as these dog flea pill reviews are extremely divided.
With the combination of ADE reports and petitions from dog owners calling for NexGard to be removed from circulation, it seems that there is a strong argument that NexGard is not safe for use in dogs—at least not without a full health history and veterinary examination, earning the product an overall 2-star rating.
If you have reservations about using any pesticide-based flea and tick treatment for your dog, there are plenty of natural alternatives to consider that are widely considered as safer methods for pest prevention.
While the final decision ultimately rests in your hands, we strongly recommend discussing any questions or worries that you may have about oral flea medication for dogs with your veterinarian to ensure that your dog is happy, healthy, and pest-free.
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